Sunday, October 21, 2012

Stone Booklovers go marching on!

This year's Parade of Books, in which children dress up as their favorite book characters and carry the book to match, or create wearable book covers, will be held on Halloween from grades K through 3. (Read the 4-1-1 for last year's super awesome parade and hints for homemade costumes here).   You are welcome to watch the parade outside at 1:30; bring little brothers and sisters to cheer, and don't forget the camera! This is a great opportunity for us to celebrate Stone as a community of readers, and to create home-school connections. Last year we had a little bit of distance between the timing of our Parade of Books and Halloween, but alas, because of the strike this year, we did not have that luxury. We opted to create a conglomeration of both book-loving and seasonal fun on the 31st in the interest of preserving parent and teacher costume-related sanity. We still are asking if at all possible costumes should be book related, and that each student carry a book related to the costume they are wearing. For inspiration, check out some of last year's costumes here, or hints for making easy home-made costume here and here!

So! Checklist for K-3 parents on October 31st:
* Please send your child to school with the book-related costume (or poster) in a bag, to be changed into (or carried) in the afternoon. Please keep it simple. Mark all belongings with name and room number.
* Please send your child to school with the corresponding book to carry in the parade.
* Cheer and take pictures on the school playground at 1:30, if you are available. If you are not available, we love you just the same, and we'll take pictures.

Classroom Halloween parties to follow the parade. Please contact your room parent or check your child's classroom newsletter/website for details.

Our Family Reading Night, usually planned for the fall, is being moved to December so we can spread the fun out through the year and plan a great event.  Details coming soon.  Thank you for your support!

Illustration from Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes.
Ms. Demonte sporting stripes a la A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

And the answer to the most popular October question in the library is...

Yes, yes, yes, we WILL be having a Haunted House Museum in the library again this year!

Here is the how-to and information being sent home with students:

How-to:  Take a cardboard box and cut holes in it for windows. Paint or otherwise cover the box with a seasonal color like orange, black, green or purple. Decorate the outside of your house with ghosts, trick-or-treaters, rotting trees…use your imagination! 
  • No blood or gore or headless dolls, sorry! We are celebrating imagination and folklore, not horror.
  • If you don’t celebrate Halloween, that’s fine! We welcome fall houses and autumn scenes as well.
  • Please do not attach any real food to your creation. Cockroaches are even scarier than ghosts.
  • Please do not include or attach anything valuable to your creation. 
  • Yes, you can work with a friend or friends or family! 
  • You can light it inside with a flashlight or battery-operated lights! 
  • You don’t have to make it a house. It can be a haunted apartment building, or a haunted theater, or a haunted sports event, or a haunted store, or…whatever idea you have! 
  • Please ask for a grown-up’s help for cutting out windows or when using new or messy craft materials. 
  • This is not an assignment for a grade. This is extra credit and for FUN! 
  •  Haunted houses and fall houses are to be made at home. They can be dropped off in the library any morning before October 29. Haunted houses go home on Halloween.
  • Remember to put your name and room number on your monsterpiece masterpiece! 
And!  NEW this year! I wanted something a little more sophisticated just for the older children, so they could have a special part in our seasonal celebration and children who have made haunted houses for the past couple of years could have a new activity to look forward to.  To that end,  7th and 8th graders may participate in our new Gallery of Pumpkins, featuring decorated pumpkins and gourds, to be brought in on either October 29th or 30th. Click here for funny pumpkin ideas, or here for free stencils!

The pumpkin-decorating rules for the big kids:
• No blood, real or fake. Remember, little kids will be seeing your creation, too. Please, keep it school-appropriate.
•  Please get your parent or guardian’s permission and help before using any sharp objects to carve your pumpkin.
 • YES, You may work with a friend, friends or family.
 • YES, you can still make a haunted house instead of or in addition to a pumpkin for the gallery.  These activities are optional!
• Any lighting in the pumpkin must be done with flashlights or LED lights. No real candles or flames, please.
• All pumpkins may be brought to the library on October 29 and 30th. Participation is optional. Please include your name and room number on the bottom of the pumpkin (writing on masking tape works well; we’ll have some available in the library). You may take your pumpkin home on Halloween. 

A recap:  Houses will be accepted in the library starting on Monday, October 22, though Monday, October 29.  Pumpkins accepted on October 29th and 30th.  We have many new students at Stone this year; if children are working in a group, please think to invite and include a new classmate if possible.  Can't wait to see the children's monsterpieces masterpieces!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Very busy bookworms!

First graders have been having a wonderful time learning the difference between fiction and non-fiction books by reading Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar and comparing it to works like Are You a Butterfly? by Judy Allen.  The children were especially entranced by the video of a real chrysalis being formed, and a butterfly emerging.  Reposting here, in case of requests for re-reuns!

See the big finish here!  Wow!  It never gets old.